Post-harvest quality and quantification of betalains, phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity in fruits of three cultivars of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L. Mill)
Postharvest quality, quantification of betalains, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity of peel, pulp, and juice of fruits of three prickly pears (Opuntia ficus-indica L. Mill.) cultivars of Colegio de Postgraduados in México, were measured. The red and orange cultivars showed outstanding features of postharvest quality (size, texture, TSS and pulp and juice content) highest content of betalains and phenolic compounds. Therefore, highest antioxidant activity. In general, the highest content of bioactive compounds was detected in the peel, besides the content in pulp and juice did not show statistically significant differences. Phenolic content is very high in comparison with other fruits. Antioxidant activity was measured by three assays:
FRAP, ABTS, and DPPH. Three cultivars showed a high correlation between antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds. The methodologies used in this work are a very useful tool for the quantification of bioactive compounds in O. ficus-indica fruit tissues.
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